Welcome to CCRA!  I’m Sandy Walden, and I'm very honored to serve as your President for the 2019-2020 board year.  I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you during this exciting year to come.

First, a little bit about me.  I’ve been a court reporter for 20 years.  I started out doing freelance work in 1999, and ten years ago I became an official court reporter for Contra Costa Superior Court.  I’m also the union president for the court reporters in my county, and I’ve been at the bargaining table many times advocating and fighting for our profession in that capacity. I reside in Concord with my 19-year-old son, Hunter, who is pursuing an education in the trade profession of HVAC.

I love this profession!  My very first CCRA convention was in Newport Beach in 2015.  The following year I attended CCRA’s California Action Team Training.  After seeing the legislative side of our profession and the protections and challenges CCRA takes on for the members, I knew I wanted to be involved.  One of the things I love about CCRA is that we represent ALL reporters.  From student to freelancer, official, CART captioner, broadcast captioner, and beyond, CCRA is here for you!

I have so many goals in mind for CCRA this year, but there are a couple that I want to share with you specifically.  One thing I really want to be great at this year is sharing with our members exactly how CCRA is working for you.  Most of our updates will be found on our social media pages, so please be sure you connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  I commit to keeping you informed about what we are doing to make this profession the best it can be.

The second thing I’ll be working hard on this year is education.  As your association, CCRA wants you to have all the information you need to succeed.  I believe knowledge is power. You'll see this goal come to life at the informative events I'll be planning this year in cities local to you.

Our freelance arena has some hot-button topics this year!  The possibility of audio-only and video-only depositions has become a very real threat, and CCRA is dedicated to tackling this issue.  We plan to be at the forefront of this issue legislatively, always protecting and promoting the stenographic record as the gold standard in depositions.

In my time as a CCRA board director I served as the chair of the Continuing Education Committee, and I have always been a strong advocate for CART licensure in California.  I will continue to pursue the licensure of our CART providers and captioners in California, and I am truly supportive of the important work captioners do for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

As for our official court reporter members, 2020 has got to be our year for a transcript rate increase.  At our 109th Annual Convention we unveiled our new graphic, hashtags, and the Twitter handles to get the California Judicial Council's attention and show California's legislators and Governor Newsom how serious we are about this issue.  Do you join me in believing that 30 years is long enough?  Please use these hashtags and handles when discussing the transcript rate increase on social media:  #CCRA  #listenup  #payup  #30years2long  @CalCourts  @CAgovernor

Speaking of convention, wasn't it a blast?  Our convention theme this year was The Power of our Past, The Force of our Future.  With the power of 109 years behind us, the force of our future is STRONG!  Together, we can achieve all that we set out to do.  I'd like to take this time again to thank our guest speakers, teachers, vendors, my fellow board members, committee members, and all the volunteers who helped make this year's convention a success.

We've already begun this year's board work, but our first board meeting will be in Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3.  This meeting is open to all CCRA members and will also be our Annual Legislative Council meeting where we map out our legislative agenda for the year. 

I'll definitely be in touch soon, and I want you to know that I'm here for you as your CCRA President.  I can be reached anytime at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Sandy M. Walden, President
California Court Reporters Association


CCRA Equal Pay Graphic#EqualPayCA 
Let's Get a Transcript Rate Increase!

Today First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom will lead a discussion on equal pay and gender equality in the workforce hosted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus! What a perfect day to share our #EqualPayCA issue on social media! 

As we all know, court reporting is a female-dominated profession that hasn’t seen a transcript rate increase in 30 years! Does anyone else think this might be an #EqualPayCA issue? We do! It’s about time our voices are heard in Sacramento!

CCRA and court reporters all over this great state need your help! We are at a critical time in the legislative season especially on a day like today.

We thank all those who have gathered letters and sent them in. All support letters previously submitted and the lobbying efforts of CCRA and SEIU have gotten AB 1385 to this point. 

AB 1385 is being held with hundreds of other bills that have a monetary value. We need Senator Anthony J. Portantino and the Senate Appropriations Committee to see the NEED of getting AB 1385 to the Governor’s desk this year. Governor Newsom needs to see the support and need of funding and signing AB 1385.

Your letters will help! Please send in your support letter, ask your co-workers, friends and family to sign a support letter. We need at least one from every single CSR in the state.
The letters will go to the Appropriations Committee and then on to Governor Newsom’s desk. We must show the support and importance of this bill being funded and signed!
Please send all letters in ASAP to [email protected].

To read more about #EqualPayCA, click here.

Thank you for your support. Together, we can do this!
CCRA Board of Directors

Want to help spread the word even more? Post on social media using the hashtag
#EqualPayCA

Sample Letters:
CSR personalized: Click here to download
CART/Captioners: Click here to download
Co-workers, friends & family: Click here to download
Please send all letters in ASAP to [email protected].

PRESERVE YOUR PROFESSION: A TO Z NEEDS U NOW!

The California Court Reporters Association, in conjunction with the Northern California Court Reporters Association and the Sacramento Official Court Reporters Association, are excited to announce the California launch of NCRA’s nationwide “A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand” program. The goal of this intensive recruitment effort is to introduce members of our local communities to the court reporting and captioning professions through a hands-on course in which candidates are provided loaner steno machines and attend live weekly classes over a six-week period taught by experienced reporters. Join the momentum. Be the solution. Whether it is your volunteer time or a donation, it is YOU that will preserve stenographic reporting!




California Budget Watch: What about Court Reporters?

Only four days into his tenure as Governor of California, Gavin Newsom introduced his first proposed state budget. The $144 billion plan is the first step in a months-long process to adopt a state budget before the July 1st deadline.

The Judicial Branch proposal includes more than $350 million in additional funding. After the Jameson decision and 30 years without an increase in the statutory transcript fee, how much of it is going to hire new State-employed court reporters or to fund a rate increase? Zero. More than $9 million is proposed for raises of Judicial Council and other state-level staff; millions more for judges’ salaries.

Remember, this proposal is just the starting point. CCRA is already working to make 2019 the year we secure a long overdue rate increase, especially now that freelancers covering court work are also statutorily bound by those rates, and funding to increase the number of court reporters provided in courtrooms statewide. Stay tuned for more California Budget Watch emails.


Dynamex Explained

The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dynamex created a new legal test for determining whether someone is an “independent contractor” and not an employee. In order to be properly classified as an independent contractor, the hiring entity must prove each of the three factors in the “ABC Test”: (A) The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and (B) The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed. In the context of court reporters, the analysis will depend upon the particular facts and circumstances of each individual relationship. While it is ultimately unclear how Dynamex will be applied to court reporters, this article provides a detailed legal overview to assist our members with understanding the key issues. READ MORE